New Release Blitz: The Proposal by Penny McLean (Excerpt & Giveaway)

Title:  The Proposal

Series: Flavors of the Month, Book Three

Author: Penny McLean

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: 06/10/2024

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Female, Female/Female

Length: 59700

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, contemporary, humor, menage/multiple partners, bisexual, ice cream parlor, marriage proposal, Paris

Add to Goodreads


Cynthia Blake has a problem. She was sure dating twelve people in one year and then marrying one at the end was a great way to find a partner, but with six suitors down and six to go, her little experiment has gotten out of hand.

Someone clearly has it out for her and is doing their best to trash her reputation, threatening to take down her beloved chain of ice cream stores in the process. And even though she’s having fun (a LOT of fun) with each of her Flavors, choosing one is going to be harder than she ever imagined.

In the final installment to this sexy, funny, and riveting trilogy, follow Cynthia from summer through December as she makes the biggest decision of her life. Can she get things back on track before her dream of love melts away?


The Proposal
Penny McLean © 2024
All Rights Reserved

June 17

I am numb the whole way home. After Giuseppe graciously let me cry on his shoulder for a truly uncomfortable amount of time, I asked his advice on how to get to the airport from his apartment. Briefly, I considered rushing over to St. Peter’s Basilica for my previously scheduled tour of the church and the Vatican Museum, but the idea of seeing the Sistine Chapel on my own leaves me with a hollow, empty feeling in my chest.

I don’t deserve to look at anything so beautiful today.

“I can drive you to the airport, signora,” Giuseppe says, his eyes full of pity. “I do not know what he is thinking, leaving you like this.”

I burst into tears again, then go to gather my things from the bedroom. The sound of cheerful voices below the window makes me want to throw up or maybe kick something. I am fitful and sure that I’ve never felt so low before in my life. I desperately wish I had someone to blame for all of this, but the logical part of my brain shuts down any chance of that quickly. This is all on me.

I get through security easily and find my way to the gate about two hours before my flight. I know I can’t just sit there, so I wander around the shops for a bit, not really seeing anything. I pick up two books to read on the way home without even looking at the titles.

“Doesn’t matter,” I mumble to myself, making the woman next to me look at me with a startled expression. She’s probably not used to seeing disheveled Americans at the airport. I hope I ruin her day.

No, I don’t. Ugh. I’m the worst.

I board my flight to Chicago and down a couple of the sleeping pills that Carter gave me my first night here. I threw a couple in my toiletry bag before we left for Rome in case insomnia reared its ugly head, but now I want nothing more than to just shut out the world.

I wake with a start when we touch down at O’Hare and realize I have magically slept through the whole thing. I try to smile but can’t quite muster it, being completely devoid of feeling and all. I pick up the phone after finding the gate for my connection to Phoenix and call Kim.

“Hey!” she says, pure joy in her voice. “I didn’t expect to hear from you till next week—wait, what’s wrong?”

I know she can’t hear me crying, but her Spidey-sense is kicking in. Through heaves and sobs, I tell her I’m on my way home. Alone. Good friend that she is, she is furious at Carter on my behalf.

“I can’t believe he sent you home,” she fumes. “That immature, self-righteous, son of a—”

“I’m the one who’s a bitch,” I interrupt. “I thought I was doing okay after the whole sex tape thing, but I was just bottling it all up and it all came out last night. I took it out on him. I was horrible. We could have talked it out, I’m sure, but I don’t blame him for not wanting to see me.”

“If he wants to be with you, this is exactly the kind of thing you need to be able to talk through,” she says.

I nod and my brain changes course. “You’re right. We both said shitty things. How dare he just leave without talking to me. I can’t believe I was starting to think he was the one.”

“You were? Did he, uh, mention where else you might go on the trip?”

“He told you about Paris?”

“He mentioned it was a possibility. He wanted to see how the trip went, but I know he was hoping it would end there.”

“So he was going to propose,” I say, the tears coming again. “How could one fight take him from wanting to marry me to not being able to be around me?”

“That’s what I’m saying. If he could waver that quickly, that’s a huge red flag.”

The numbness falls off my shoulders as a million thoughts swirl through my head. Am I angry? Yes, but it’s more than that. Am I hurt? Again, yes, but that’s not the right word to capture it all. I’m so many things that I secretly hope the numbness will come back. Looking up, I see a way to make it happen.

“Kim, I’ll call you when I get home,” I say, walking toward the nearest bar.

Numbness, thy name is alcohol. Come bring me thine sweet relief.


NineStar Press | Books2Read

Meet the Author

Penny McLean is a careerwoman by day, writer by night, mother at all times to three incredible children, and wife to a loving husband. Born in San Diego, California, she now hails from Gilbert, Arizona where she especially enjoys giving back to her community by volunteering at schools and libraries, with Girl Scouts, and for any causes that benefit marginalized communities, especially LGBTQIA+ youth. She began her career as a writer at the age of 17 when she was hired to cover movies, arts, and features for a youth-oriented page in the Arizona Republic. With twenty years of writing experience for magazines, newspapers, social media, and more, she is thrilled to have her first novel out in the world. Find out more about Penny on her Website.


One lucky winner will receive a $50.00 NineStar Press Gift Code!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Button 2

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.